Sitting on the porch last night and thinking about the day, I could still smell Claire on my arms – her wonderful Desitin/apple juice/cereal/baby smell. I spent three hours with her, half of it alone and the other half with my daughter Carlene. Cassie was working and Matt was at a funeral and so Grammy Lynn and Aunt Carly took a Claire shift.
We started by taking her poolside. I hauled three buckets of water to Claire’s blue and yellow blow-up pool while Carlene changed her into her bathing suit and lathered her up in sunscreen.
Even though I used warm water, Claire isn’t old enough to realize when she’s about to be set down in water, and the shock of it caused her to shudder and no doubt pee her diaper. She looked at us with her big brown eyes like she was studying her insides to understand what her body was feeling and then the light clicked. “This is water! I love water!”
I put my feet in the pool and splashed her. She grabbed my big toe. I played peek-a-boo with her, hiding behind the blue and yellow tubes that form a tent above the pool. She could see me, but thought it was hysterical because my face was blue and yellow. I wish everyone was so easy to amuse.
Forget swimming and splashing. Claire’s all about standing in her pool. She stands everywhere now because she can. Well, she thinks she can. She doesn’t understand that blow-up plastic is flimsy and that water is slippery. So Carlene held her up when she was on her side and I hung on to her when she was on my side. Even though she wasn’t standing by herself, this arrangement made Claire happy.
(FYI: This butt is really cute on an 8-month-old. It wasn’t so cute on Grammy Lynn a few years ago.)
It was soon time for Claire’s lunch so we brought her inside and got her dressed. Carlene left to do some shopping, so I put Claire in her highchair and started feeding her a jar of fruit and cereal.
Claire is a fancy pants with her three new teeth (two on the bottom and one on the top) and loves to grind them together. She decided to show off her new talent by skewing her face up like a bulldog and making a noise worse than fingernails scraping a chalkboard. It’s spine chilling but it mesmerizes Claire.
Halfway through her food, she decided she no longer wanted to sit in her highchair, but preferred to dine on Grammy’s lap. No problem. When the jar was empty, she laid back and enjoyed a bottle, and when she’d had enough of that, she sat up without making a sound and stretched her body straight – Claire’s way of saying “Put me on the floor, I’ve got an appointment with my toy box.”
Matt had picked up the living room before he left and the place looked great. Claire crawled over to the blue fabric box of toys and proceeded to dump the entire thing on the floor. She didn’t stop there. She spied three books on the bookshelf and had to see how they tasted before throwing them on the floor, too. She got a few things out of her diaper bag before crawling back to the toy box and the VCR tape/DVD stand behind it.
She’s so busted in this photo.
A few minutes later, I smelled something really stinky. Claire thought I was a pretty mean G-ma when I picked her up and took her away from her toys, not understanding that the stinky culprit was in her diaper and squirting up her back. No sooner did I get her diaper off and was reaching for a wet wipe when she flipped herself over to a crawling position with her dirty bum in the air. Poo went everywhere. Wrestling her back to a reclined position, I managed to get her cleaned up, all the while laughing so hard I thought I’d choke. Safely back in a diaper and sans the dirty pants, I put her back on the floor where she entertained herself with a rubber spatula and a 1-quart saucepan.
When she decided she’d rearranged the living room the way she wanted, Claire crawled over to me and stood up near my legs. I picked her up and gave her a nook. We turned on her mom’s computer and went to the Noggin website and watched Moose E. Moose videos.
Claire loves Moose E. Moose. She started off leaned over the arm of the couch with my arms wrapped around her chest so she couldn’t nose dive onto the computer, and she danced and laughed and sucked on her nook. Then she leaned back and rested in the crook of my arm. Sometimes she’d press her cheek against my mouth because I was softly singing. I don’t know the words to Moose E. Moose songs and I can’t sing my way out of a box, but she didn’t care. I rubbed her cool little thighs and kissed her head and told myself to never forget that moment. I don’t think I ever could.
We chilled on the couch for about 45 minutes before Carlene came back from shopping. Claire was pretty close to sleeping, and so I said goodbye and went home. It’s 24 hours later and I haven’t stopped smiling.
This grandma gig just keeps getting better all the time.